According to an astrophysicist, there could be up to a million planets orbiting a black hole, and these worlds could be potential places for life as we know it. It is peculiar for astronomers to decide whether a world is habitable or not due to the type of star it orbits, or if it is in the habitable zone around the star. However, this concept could be altered, and the "habitable zone" could be extended to many more options in the future. The astrophysicist of the Observatory of Bordeaux in France, Sean Raymond, has been investigating for a long time how planetary systems are formed and evolved. Recently he has published a note called "Building the Ultimate Solar System," in which he outlined how many planets could orbit around a black hole. Raymond told Space.com:

I think we can get knowledge of the extremes. They are basically the limits of the scheme we were looking for. This system is a complete extreme: it is the most complete and imaginable. It is a fun and fun combination of science and imagination
Scientists currently know two types of black holes: Black holes of star-mass, which resemble en masse a few sols together, and are born when the giant stars die and collapse on themselves. Supermassive black holes, which possess millions of billions of times the mass of our Sun, and astronomers suggest that they exist at the center of most large galaxies. A black hole as a companion of a Sun If we put ourselves in the case of changing the Sun through a black hole with its same mass, nothing would change, the orbits would remain as they are now, and it is very possible that life will continue on Earth or in another place where it exists in our System.

Now, if the Sun had a companion black hole of equal mass and in orbit with it, the orbits of the planets would not vary either. There could be a variation in the speed with which the planets complete their orbits, and it would be much faster. For example, the Earth would decrease from 365 days to 258 days. On the other hand, the Sun and the hypothetical black hole would complete an orbit, both at the same time, in approximately 2.9 days. This would cause the energy that the Earth receives from the Sun to fluctuate between 90 and 100 percent of its average, while the Sun moves away or closer to Earth.

A supermassive black hole with several planets orbiting it

Raymond's research determined how many potentially habitable planets could be found around a supermassive black hole with a mass of 1 million suns (like ours). According to Raymond, there could be up to 6 planets with Earth's mass in stable concentric orbits within a system commanded by a star.

On the other hand, if we replace the Sun with a supermassive black hole (1 million times the mass of the Sun), Raymond calculated that there could be up to 550 planets in stable concentric orbits in the habitable zone. The very high gravity of the supermassive black hole would pull more strongly down the side of each planet that is closer.

This would allow to extend the planets in the habitable zone, nevertheless they would not be sufficiently near like leg that they are destroyed. Raymond added: It would be very interesting to live on a planet in this system. It would take only a few days to complete an orbit around the black hole: about 1.6 days at the inner edge of the habitable zone and 4.6 days at the outer edge. "

According to Raymond's calculations, the planets closest to each other would be separated by a distance similar to twice the distance from Earth to the Moon. And the other neighboring planets would be two or three times farther away.

Raymond also said that around the supermassive black hole there would be 9 suns, which would be a great sight to behold; and each one would complete its orbit around the black hole every 3 hours. Raymond added: That means that every 20 minutes, one of the suns would pass behind the black hole. When a sun passes behind the black hole, the gravity of the black hole doubles its light and can act as a lens. The sunlight is focused on the planet. This distorts the shape of the sun in a ring, a good light show "

One million planets orbiting a black hole

Unlike the previous model in which each planet was in an orbit around the supermassive black hole; Raymond calculated that given a black hole of one million suns with an orbital ring of nine sun-like stars, there could be a million planets with Earth's mass orbiting the habitable zone in 400 rings, each with 2,500 planets separated by approximately the same distance between Earth and the moon.

In this case, there would no longer be 9 similar stars, Raymond calculated 36 stars similar to our Sun in a ring of 6 Astronomical Units (AU) wide. Raymond added: In this scenario, each planet is bathed in sunlight from all sides, planets have no night side. It is like the planet Kalgash of Asimov's permanent day.

You would never feel alone in these systems: the other planets would look huge in the sky. " And according to what Raymond says, the neighboring planets would be 10 times closer than the Moon to Earth, so they would look 40 times larger than a full Moon in the sky.

Raymond added: It would be like the size of a laptop within reach, only in the sky. "In this scenario the planets would be closer to the black hole and would perform orbits at extraordinary speeds, at approximately 10 percent of the speed of the light.

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, in which time seems to move noticeably slower the more you get to the speed of light, the time would pass more slowly the closer you get to the black hole. If life existed on one of these planets near the center, the beings would age at a slower rate, different from their neighbors on the following planets farthest from the black hole. The differences in speed between the rings would be large enough to make it impossible for a spacecraft to travel from one ring to another with any current technology, Raymond said. However, each world would share its ring with thousands of others, and the relative speed between the neighboring planets would be almost zero.

Raymond added: A space elevator could connect planets. I can imagine advanced extraterrestrials creating a system like the solar system of millions of Earth as a work of cosmic art, something like the art of skyscrapers or painted icebergs. Or maybe the aliens would create this kind of system like a zoo.

They could have a gradient in climates from the warmest to the coldest, and supply the planets with all kinds of creatures they collect in the universe. Of course, you would have to be careful not to put the wrong combinations of space creatures in the same ring of planets, because that would not end well. " Reymond concluded: These systems are a combination of science fiction and 'going there' in that sense. The main thing I'm referring to is simply trying to push the limits of what we think is possible. "

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